Proving the point is 'Queen of Goths', who has turned a simple maxi dress in to something theatrical and elegant through the addition of a shrug. The tight cover-up looks like it's part of the frock, and creates a sexy, flattering neckline, and the lace trimming makes it look more opulent. Then the fabulous purple corsage picks out the colour bands at the hemline, and is tonally matched by the flatteringly large pendant. All those bangles make the wrists look delicate, and the empire line (with the shrug nicely out of the way) enhances hourglass curves. Brava!
A similar look from Ruby but I wanted to draw attention to how cleverly she's reworked this dress. Originally the dress had sequin banding, but she's removed that and replaced it with this pretty braid detail. It's a simple bit of needlework which requires a couple of things: motivation and vision. To see something you almost love and realise what needs to be done to make it the piece you really want is really creative style shopping. I love those cute little dolly shoes too.
The last of this week's trio of maxi dresses is from drag0n, and this frock is really flattering. It makes her boobs look fabulous, and the horizontal seaming on the skirt is pretty, but unobtrusive enough not to interrupt the vertical line. The washed-out blue works well with the plaid shirt and slouchy bag to create a pretty spin on the early-nineties 'grunge' revival.
So now onto a trio of tunics. Tunics are a fabulous option for apple shapes, as they glide over your tummy. Many apples have great legs, like gorgeous 'aqua' here, who has finally decided to take the plunge with leggings... and doesn't she look amazing in them? The tunic itself gets a way with such a large floral pattern because of its muted colour palette, allowing those peacock tones in aqua's hair. If you do have striking hair colours you have to be careful with clothes - choosing tones to enhance or to provide a backdrop. It's the latter here, and it looks great.
Preserving her anonymity with a headless shot, and her modesty with a leggings and vest combo 'cesare' looks really cool in this short kaftan. The translucent fabric makes for lots of flattering colour without the 'in-your-face' impact of a more solid cloth. The translucent patterned fabric also creates a flattering diaphanous effect, softening the clean black outlines with floaty vertical stripes and feminine frill detailing.
My last tunic is from Fran, who I know would dearly have loved to wear a more dressy frock, but she's finding it tricky to find one to fit both her and her tummy-residing daughter. This tunic is lovely, though - it emphasises her fabulous rack, makes her bump look gorgeously blooming and rounded, while finishing at a good length to ensure that someone so petite (and Fran is under five feet tall) still looks quite long-legged (that's also the empire line at work). Fabulous.
Rozi has been on her school's winter holidays this week but still frocked up in this utterly wonderful skirt. When you have a feature piece like this, you obviously need to keep everything else very simple, but I'm glad she's picked out the turquoise from the skirt for her top, rather than sticking to safe black - colours near the face are brightening and flattering.
Charlotte also went for separates with these cool linen oxford bags providing the foundation for a bright strappy top and feature necklace. There's nothing complicated or hard to wear here - but the overall look is elegant and put together. Try choosing a more complicated piece of jewellery and then putting together a simple outfit behind it, paying attention to the colours that flatter you, but keeping things plain.
Jewellery really can be the making of an outfit, particularly in a dressing-up, Friday frocks context. This lovely, full maxi skirt doesn't need much, and the simple white vest is perfect - but imagine if 'geminisnake' hadn't added the necklace. The broad bands of rich colour at the bottom would dominate, dragging the eye down. By picking up the colour again at the throat, our eyes focus on the outfit as a whole. It's a wonderful photo too, no? There's something about it.
Back to the frocks. I love Cloo's dress here. There's something a bit Brideshead Revisited meets Wimbledon, and it's utterly flattering. Cloo is really slim and petite, and the length and restrained full skirt of this dress suits her proportions. She has pale colouring too, and would be in danger of the white washing out her complexion, but the clever black piping gives definition. Hurrah, too for nude shoes.
@BeBelongy's two-in-one nautical dress is right up to the minute. The horizontal lines at the bust make her look utterly boobalicious, while the A line skirt skims to the knee flatteringly. She's softened the harsh monochrome with a soft ochre corsage, allowing her to finish the look with fabulous matching mary-janes. Beautiful - her hair looks great, too.
Tribal prints are absolutely everywhere this summer, so 'temper_tantrum' is right 'on-trend', but it's more than that. This sundress may be simple but the cut is so flattering. The close fitting, deep scoop-necked bodice accentuates the bust, while the pretty, full skirt hides any imperfections while keeping your legs cool. Expect to see more of this shape in Autumn/Winter - it was very big in lots of the catwalk shows. Hurrah!
A similar shape, from 'wayward bob', but the high neckline here does two things. Firstly, it's more flattering for a smaller bust, and secondly, it evokes a more retro feel. That, combined with the simple print and the slightly shorter length (plus the bare feet) makes this look quite beautifully childlike... in a womanly kind of way. Perfect for a summer day in the garden, picking daisies in the shiny weather.
All womanly swelegance, however, is Maeve, who this week decided to go for simple, classy pearls to finish off her look. She tells me that the pearls made the outfit look almost forties-style, and I know what she means: it's also because of the scale of the print - you could imagine that fabric making up a tea-dress fit for a siren of the Blitz. The black leggings, cardie and shoes make this a restrained, elegant look for Maeve. Really lovely.
Have I said enough, yet, how much I love this style of dress. This week it's Trashy's turn to be sporting the 'deep-V-neck-tailored-bodice-wider-than-A-line-but-not-quite-full-skirted' frock. If you have boobs over a C cup and a smaller waist, this dress will flatter you - get one while they're in the shops. I love the double string of beads here: the colour lends warmth to the face and the curve sits perfectly in the angular neckline.
The curve and V effect is also used here by Miss-Shelf, but that's not what I love most. Look at that brilliant, bold raspberry pick cardigan. It turns an elegant, grown up dress into something fun and flirty and fabulous. The cropped length of the cardi allows Miss-Shelf's neat waist to feature, somthing she's accentuated with a cinching, chunky belt. The flip flops coordinate perfectly too. Very 'put together'.
I'm aware that I often point out who shouldn't be wearing white and light colours, but Sophie here demonstrates that if you have some colour in your skin, and warmth in your hair shade, pale clothes can look breathtakingly pretty. The sprigged floral pattern and feminine styling is a little bit 'Little House on the Prairie' - but I imagine Sophie's too young to get that reference... I adore the white flower - it increases the cute, romantic feel, while the wedges are simple and retro but high enough to be womanly and sexy.
I recieved lots of pictures of accessories this week - which I love to feature because some people still think that Friday frocks can't work with their life... but everyone can accessorise with something a little bit special. Beautiful 'Moose' actually did put together a whole Friday frocks outfit, but could only get a pic of the head and shoulders. We'll have to use our imaginations for the rest of the top and the three quarter length jeans, but it's creating a pretty picture in my head. What we can see is the fabulous necklace from Retro Jewellery UK - sadly the cherries are out of stock, but let the website and Moose inspire you to jazz up your friday with an inexpensive piece of fun.
@Melanie_jane sent me this picture of her fantastic Friday footwear. How Fabulous are these feet of flame? The rich orangey red platforms are wonderfully late seventies retro, and the different textures create a sculpural look - I love those kind of design details. The manicure is perfect, and the whole look sets off her ice-blue tattoo.
I know that Pootle did a whole Friday frocks outfit last week, because she told me all about the compliments she was getting the whole day long. Sadly, she only got it togther to photograph her handbag - but it's a beauty. Proof that elegant doesn't have to mean boring, Pootle swapped her usual courier bag for this gorgeous vintage-style coach bag. The pale tan leather is timeless, and the external purse pocket both makes the piece interesting, and evidently is a practical solution for mp3 player storage.
The always-glamorous @Girl_in_A_Box spent all day on Friday travelling, so focused her swelegance on one finger. She calls this her 'Ring of Power' - I love it. The pretty lilac stones coordinate with her hot pink nails, and the asymmetric circles design looks both organic and playful. I must. not. covet.
No picture of me this week - I did do Friday frocks, but I wasn't happy with it. Let nobody ever feel under tyranny to share with the world what they know looks rough. I'll do better next week...